His marriage destroyed by drinking, John Cooper returns to Cambridge, Massachusetts, trying to recapture the joy he felt as an undergraduate in Harvard University’s sacred halls. He is just beginning to piece his life together when he gets a telegram calling him home to Minnesota. The message comes from Buenos Aires, and with Cooper’s family history, that can mean only one thing: The Nazis are staging a comeback.
To John and his brother, their grandfather was a kind, distinguished old man. But to the American people, he was the worst kind of traitor. An industrialist who spent the 1930s in business with Fascists, he became infamous as “America’s Number One Nazi.” When Hitler’s old lieutenants decide to get together a Fourth Reich, the Coopers are the first family they call. John hasn’t even made it to Minnesota when the first attempt on his life comes—a message that if he isn’t ready to honor his family legacy, he will die for it."
©1975 Thomas Gifford (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I had read this book years ago, when it was first published. But beyond a vague recollection of being disappointed, I remembered little about it. So I thought I would give it another chance. My mistake. A sprawling and flaccid "Fourth Reich" tale, lacking any sparks of originality or narrative discipline. It s also more than slightly distasteful that a couple of the more villainous neo-Nazis are portrayed as homosexual and repeatedly described as "perverts."
There are also issues with the Audible production. During the first hour or so, there a good half dozen times where the reader finishes a phrase and then repeats the phrase as he continues on. Clearly, recording edits that were not caught and cut by the Audible engineer. Also, the narrator simply sounds much, much younger than the stated age (35) of the character whose voice is telling the story. And, although he certainly tries, the narrator is simply not very good with accents, in a book that calls for several distinct national accents (Spanish, British, German). His British accents are laughably awkward, and both his Spanish and German attempts wind up sounding vaguely Romanian.
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